Hickory – To celebrate his 50th anniversary milestone with McDonald’s, Hickory area McDonald’s owner-operator John Link was recognized by McDonald’s Atlanta Field Office with the 2020 Golden Arch Award given for his outstanding contributions to exemplify leadership within the McDonald’s system.

This honor, bestowed upon only the top 1% of franchisees globally, is presented biennially to owner/operators who deliver a superior customer and employee experience while passionately giving back to the community and leading the way in building brand trust.

An owner operator of 13 restaurants throughout North Carolina, Link’s leadership at the local and national level is exemplary. He is constantly seeking new solutions to improve the customer experience at his restaurants, whether it be incorporating parallel drive thru lanes, adding additional McCafé machines to meet increased demand or frequently monitoring guest satisfaction data.

He is a current OPNAD representative for the Big South Operators Association and represents his fellow owners on his business unit’s national executive board. Additionally, Link is a member of the national Menu Experience Team, where he has been a strong partner to his chicken sub-team and serves as an instrumental leader in the brand’s pursuit of the highest-quality chicken. As part of the national Menu Experience Team, Link helped develop the new Crispy Chicken Sandwiches (CCS) that recently launched nationwide.

“This is an incredible honor, and I am humbled to receive this recognition,” Link said. “This is a testament to the great team we have built here. Our team constantly puts the consumer at the forefront of our work, understands what and where they eat and ensures the work we do reflects the consumer and the marketplace.”

Beyond Link’s successes to drive business to his restaurants, he also cares deeply about his employees. Not only has he provided loans to employees to help bridge short-term financial gaps during hard times, he goes above and beyond to holds annual outing for employees to enjoy with their families and has even showed his gratitude by purchasing a bicycle for an employee who wrecked his and had no form of transportation to work.